Northern Ireland National Championships
Sat 2nd Sept 2006, Dunmurry Map | Directions
Registration 9am; Flick-off 9:45am (U-15 2pm). Entry Fees: Senior £5, Junior (U-15) £3
2006 Results | Past NI Championships
in bold type,
as per NI Rankings)
Is 2006 Northern Ireland Champion
Davy Clegg became Northern Ireland Champion for the 3rd time, ending an 18-year wait since his previous success in 1988. He beat No.1 seed, Kenny Beggs in the Open Final, with a 2-1 shoot-out victory, following a 0-0 draw. The pair had earlier met in the Veterans Final, which Beggs won 3-0, but Clegg recovered well to turn the tables on his old rival. Adam Scullion won impressively in the Under-15 final, beating Judith Morrison 4-0, while last year's U15 Champion, Peter Morrison (now too old for that category) beat his brother, Andrew, in the U19 final. Eoin Adams won the Plate, beating Peter Morrison 2-1. Full Results
There was family rivalry in Group A, with the three Morrisons being drawn together. Alistair (father of Andrew & Peter) accompanied group winner, Kenny Beggs, through to the next round.
Indeed, it was a day when experience counted, with the same players making the last four in both the Open & Veterans - Donal Convery and Stephen Rodgers being the unlucky, losing semi-finalists in each event. Convery reached the Open semis for the 2nd successive year. He finished runner-up in Group B to Champion, Clegg, whom he had drawn with in his first match, knocked out No. 4 seed, Simon Stewart, in the quarters before his semi-final defeat to Beggs. Another Veteran, Jim McCullough, also qualified from Group B but lost to Beggs in the quarter-final.
Rodgers did well to top Group C, the 'group of death', ahead of Simon Stewart, Barry Spence, Joe McRoberts & Eoin Adams (all in the top 7 of the NI Rankings). He beat Alistair Morrison in the quarter-final before bowing out in the semi to Clegg, who had beaten No.3 seed, Barry Spence in a quarter-final shoot-out.
The final was played at a fast pace, with Clegg living up to his motto 'attacking play all the way'. Beggs created a few good chances but it was Clegg who looked more dangerous in the closing stages of the game, his final touch just letting him down when he was clean through and a last-second shot just whizzing past the post. Extra-time could not separate them but Clegg again held his nerve to win his second shoot-out of the day, and add to the titles he won in 1987 & 1988.
Beggs scored with his first attack in the final, which enabled him to settle quickly. The 1st half continued with end-to-end play but the game was still finely balanced until Beggs made it 2-0 in the 2nd half with a long-range effort. From then on it was comfortable and he scored a third near the end to win his second Veterans trophy of the season, having won the Veterans event at Belfast Grand Prix in May.